Tom Brady may have played his last game this season, but it doesn’t look like it will be the last of his career
“Typical of how we’ve played all year — not efficient in the pass game, not very good in the run game, so it’s hard to beat good teams like that,” Brady said. 31-14 drubbing by the Cowboys.
He dodged questions about his future, and reentered the buccaneersTo the locker room, through the bowels of Raymond James Stadium and finally into a black Tesla where, with the videographer in tow, he drove off… for what?
Next up for Tom Brady will be the No. 1 question of this offseason.
His demeanor after Monday night’s debacle did not herald a 23-year veteran knowing he had just played his last game. He flashed a smile while chatting with the backup QB Blaine Gabbert while changing into street clothes, he gave his offensive linemen a quick pat on the back as they sat in front of the locker room, and told more than a few Bucs players and representatives, “See you tomorrow.”
It was light, maybe relieved that this slog of a season was finally over, but mostly without emotion.
Is this — a 35-for-66, two-touchdown, one-interception, mostly forgettable performance — how Tom Freaking Brady will fare?
One thing Monday night’s loss revealed about the 45-year-old Brady is that his game has largely been reduced to dinking and dunking. There is very little stretching the ball down the field. Instead, it’s a series of swing passes and shallow crossing routes that try to take the ball away before it’s even drilled.
His average of 9.6 yards per completion is the lowest of his career and just behind the second lowest in the NFL this season. Kyler Murray. What brought it back were defenses that didn’t worry about Brady going over the top, instead creating tight windows for easy shots.
Yet even at age 45, in the season in which he posted the worst record of his entire 23-year career, he managed to throw and complete more passes than any other quarterback in the league, more than he had ever had in a single season. the season
How do you market both?
This isn’t OJ Simpson limping to the finish line in a Niners uniform, or Willie Mays hitting the ropes like the New York Mets. Brady is one year removed from leading the league in passing and touchdowns and nearly won his fourth MVP.
The alone the reason he doubts his future is because of his age. And yet, here we are.
Brady’s entire career has been marked by proving people wrong, from that first Super Bowl win against the mighty Rams to his seventh against the indomitable Chiefs… and everywhere in between. Counting him, even as the calendar continued to flip beyond the historical comparison of any other quarterback in NFL history, became so dangerous that most of us stopped doing it.
“I’m going to go home and sleep well,” he said when asked what’s next.
Does the end of this year feel any different than last year?
“It feels like the end of the season,” he said.
And with that, he was gone.
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